5 Simple Steps for Creating Compelling Video Content
Updated: Jun 6
In today's crowded social media marketplace it is getting harder and harder to find effective techniques to break through. Even attempting to do a google search for tips on creating compelling videos can give even the most hearty entrepreneur a stress headache. There's just too much to think about, consider, and balance. So I've tried to distill my lessons learned into 5 simple steps.
1) Keep it simple and concise
It is so easy to feel like we have so much to say that nothing can be cut out, but 9.9 times out of 10 this just isn't true. Really work on distilling your message down to the absolute essential points, and then think through how you can communicate them as concisely as possible. Having a partner in crime to keep you honest during this process is key so make sure you have someone in your life you can send this to who you know will be brutally honest. Or you can call me! Kindly helping people refine their message is one of my favorite parts of my job.
2) Get to the point quickly
Average watch time for most Facebook videos is only around 10 seconds so if you are spending loads of time on the build up, a lengthy intro, or reveal, your audience will have disappeared by the time you get really valuable content. How you grab them quickly absolutely depends on the industry you are in, but a good rule of thumb is to try to solve a problem or create desire right away. A catchy title talking about the problem your solving or desire you're creating can also really help. People LOVE themselves some top 3, 5 or 10 lists because they are easily digestible and followers know what their signing up for.
3) Fundamentals matter
Poor lighting and audio can really distract from a video and greatly lower engagement. This does not mean you need to invest in a pro-level camera and audio equipment. Lots of times its just a matter of ensuring the lighting is good and there aren't distracting audio elements (i.e. background noise from the wind or a dog barking). For more information on this you can check out my Audio and Video 101 blog post.
4) Be authentic
How you do this again depends on your industry but take some time and think about why your current customers stay loyal to you. What do you provide that your competition does not? I've had several clients that have tried to be super buttoned up in their videos but what they find is the more irreverent ones that really let their personality shine through, or share personal stories are the ones that get the most engagement.
In this case imitating someone else's style who has been successful isn't necessarily what will make you successful. This is particularly true for anyone in the service industry. You are at least a part of the product you are selling and people want to know what they are getting. BUT you can not be all things to all people. By being authentic you have to realize that its possible not everyone is going to like your message and that's ok. Things that are polarizing have people who love it and hate it, but at least you're standing for something.
5) Keep yourself honest with your analytics
The best way to create compelling content is to get it to pretty good, get it out there, and then check the analytics to see what you need to do differently for the next video. Facebook and Youtube have a TON of analytics for you to check out. You want to look at more than just the number of views, but instead how many people watched for at least 10 seconds? What does your audience retention graph look like? How many people liked, commented or shared? So many people focus way too much on content creation and don't use analytics as a learning tool to help them optimize future content.
Caveats and rule breaking........
Everything I've said above is particularly important for posted videos on FB, Instagram, and Youtube BUT if you are using the stories features or if you are doing a live event some of these things matter less. People know it is on the spot and less scripted and so their expectations are less lofty.
Basically its a balancing act and an art not a science. Wanting to have the PERFECT video is probably not realistic, but it is realistic to try to constantly improve the video content you are creating. Trial and error is going to be the best way to get to compelling and dare I say it viral content.
If you would like help creating your own compelling content please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 715.781.0376